The Greek Independence Day Parade Returns in Full Force

8 Jun
The Evzones Return to 5th Avenue

The second leg of the double parade day was the largest celebration of all things Hellenic outside of Greece. I rushed in a cab to 5th Avenue and 63rd street where the 84th Greek Independence Day Parade kicked off. A picture perfect day allowed for thousands of revelers to wave their flags and transform 5th Avenue to a sea of blue and white. While the parade is usually celebrated to coincide with the actual day of Independence near March 25th, this was the first available date the city had available for permits for a parade of such magnitude. This year the Greeks celebrate 201 years of Independence from the Ottoman Empire.

Traditional Greek Attire

Enjoying the Moment…kind of…
Proud Flagbearer

Parade organizers, The Federation of Hellenic Societies of New York, proudly marched up 5th Avenue to a reviewing stand near 68th street. The event was televised back to Greece and parade announcers introduced marchers in both English and Greek. The Greek Orthodox Church plays a vital role in the parade and churches throughout the tri state area send their representatives. This year, the honor of Grand Marshall went to US Representative Carolyn Maloney who does tremendous work for the Hellenic community both home and abroad.

One of the Largest Orthodox Churches in NYC

Arcadians Join In the Fun

Greek Air Force Marching Band

This year the anxiety was a little on the high side as no one knew if the much loved Evzones, Presidential Guard, would come from Athens to participate in the event as in previous years. The Greek Air Force Marching Band was an honored guest and played some energetic marching tunes in front of the Evzones. A group from Greece proudly displayed the Greek flag that traditionally flew over the Acropolis in Athens. After the Evzones marched to the reviewing stand to salute the parade VIPs, both countries National Anthems were played by the Band. Then all the fun started with hundreds of marchers shared all things Greek. Several groups from the PanHellenic area including Armenians and Cypriots showed their solidarity with the Greek people. All the major Greek Orthodox churches sent their representatives on floats or marched up the parade route. A fan favorite from Brooklyn has always been the School of Plato. They always play a nice tune to get the crowd worked up. It really was a great event and once again proclaims all the contributions the Greek community has made to the beautiful quilt we call New York City.

NYC Mayor Adams addressing the Crowd

See Ya Next Year

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